On October 20th, Melinda Brewer of Walker County was struck and killed by a motorist while riding her bicycle. Her tragic death represented the 21st bicyclist fatality in Georgia in 2015. Georgia’s bicyclist fatalities in 2015 are 40% higher than in 2014. Recognizing this urgent safety issue, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) is once again supporting statewide bicycle safety initiatives. GOHS is awarding over $70,000 to Georgia Bikes to implement bicycle safety programs and awareness campaigns in 2015. This grant represents a sixth year of funding to Georgia Bikes.
Programs enabled by the GOHS grant include:
- Support for statewide bicycle safety outreach and educational activities managed by Georgia Bikes
- Law enforcement training on bicyclist rights and responsibilities as operators of vehicles
- Printing and distribution of Bicyclist Pocket Guides, which cover state laws relevant to bicycling as well as tips for safe cycling behaviors
- Coordination of the 6th annual Georgia Bike Summit
- Training and support for local bike safety advocacy organizations throughout Georgia
Brent Buice, Executive Director for Georgia Bikes, says, “Many Georgians ride a bicycle, for transportation and for recreation, and many more would like to ride, but they are concerned about inattentive drivers, a lack of safe facilities, and they are unsure of their legal rights and safe cycling practices. By funding education and outreach activities through this grant, GOHS is showing a strong commitment to reduce preventable bicyclist injuries and fatalities in Georgia.”
Funding for the grant comes primarily from the “Share the Road” specialty car tag, which has been available since 2006.
For more about GOHS and its bike safety initiatives, visit http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/campaigns/bicycle-and-pedestrian-safety/